Prof. M. J. Kister's Biography
Meir Jacob Kister (16 January 1914 – 16 August 2010) was professor of Arabic in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
M.J. Kister was born at Mościska, Galicia located in modern day Ukraine. At the time of his birth it had been part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to be annexed by Poland several years later. He attended the gymnasium in Sanok and later the Hebrew gymnasium in Przemyśl. In 1932 he moved to Lwów where he studied Law for one year. Then he lived in Warsaw where he worked for the Rój publishing house that was owned by a family member. In 1937 he became a partner in the publishing house 'Lektura'.
Kister came to Palestine in 1939. His parents who had remained in Poland were murdered by the Nazis. In 1940 he became a student at the Hebrew University. Notable among his teachers were D. H. Baneth and S. D. Goitein. As a student Kister prepared translations from Arabic to Polish for the exiled Polish government. In 1945-6 he was a press attaché in Beirut and Damascus for the Polish government. Between 1946 and 1958 he taught Arabic in 'ha-Reali ha-Ivri' school in Haifa. In 1954 he was commissioned to advance the teaching of Arabic in the secondary school level and assembled together with Aḥmad Idrīs a large chrestomathy of literary and historiographical texts known as al-Mujtanā.